Work Outs: Oct 11 – 17, 2020 (The King’s Circle and the Stairs to Nowhere)

I mentioned last time that I would put up some pictures of a modest, little circle of stones I constructed a few years ago and have been tending off and on ever since. I was going to take some shots but I noticed that I had some pictures sitting on my cell phone that I took over the span of a couple of weeks this past Spring.

Sun, October 11th

  • Afternoon Workout
    • Stationary Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Manual Program, ~ 70 rpm’s, Level 8
    • Stretched for about 10 minutes.

Calories: 2066, Protein: 93 g.

Mon, October 12th

  • Morning Walk: 1.97 miles.
  • Afternoon Training
    • Superset: [CoC Gripper (S): 2 sets x 5 reps; (T): 2 set x 5 reps] +
      • (Set 1) Full Squats: 22 reps
      • (Set 2) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 22 reps
      • (Set 3) Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set 4) Wood Chops (each side): 12.5 lbs. x 20 reps
    • Super Set: [Twist Yo’ Wrist (up and down twice): 6 lbs. x 2 sets, 8 lbs. x 2 sets] +
      • (Set 1) Walking Lunges (2-ct): 7 reps
      • (Set 2) Side Kick Stretch (ea. leg): 12 reps
      • (Set 3) Front Kick Stretch (ea. leg): 12 reps
      • (Set 4) Alternating One-Handed Russian KB Swings (2-ct): 15 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Worked on my Side-Lunge Stretch, which is one of my current goals.

A little closer look at the entrance. One doesn’t want to violate the integrity of the circle so I established this portal. The stick seals the barrier and I occasionally chalk runes and such on the larger, flat stones. It was raining a lot when I took these pictures so the chalk had washed off.

I enjoyed looking at this cluster of mushrooms for the short time I had them. It is wet in the Spring but once it dries out the mushrooms go away on my property until the rains return.

Calories: 1996, Protein: 112 g.

Tues, October 13th

Rest Day. My strange itch to assemble models continues, so I busted out a box of Game Workshop’s Zombies of the Ancient Sculpts or as GW calls them, Deadwalker Zombies. I’ve had these things sitting around for many years now. There are 20 in the box and I put 10 of them put together, including the three zombie percussion section. I’ll post pictures of them once I assemble the whole box.

Calories: I don’t really know because we had takeaway from our favorite Mexican restaurant in the area. I suspect that I’m high for the day, but probably not overly so.

Wed, October 14th

We’ve owned our house for about six years now and have this stout set of stairs in our basement that ends at the top in a wall. This reminds me of the trips we’ve made over the years to the Winchester House in San Jose, California, which sports similar innovations and many more besides.

Over the past few months, this lack of a door has been a problem since we started working out in the basement. So I dug out my Sawzall and decided to finally do something about The Door That Goes to Nowhere. It’s basically like a hobby project, right?

No workout today but where there was a wall now there is a door!

This will also allow us to leave the garage door closed while we work out and will be particularly nice when the weather is inclement. Also, several people, near where I live, do a poor job of securing their large, semi-unfriendly dogs so it will be nice not having to keep half an eye open for someone’s dog wandering in my basement while I’m doing curls or something!

Quite a bit more work to go on The Door to Nowhere but we’ve made a good start.

Calories: 2045, Protein: 100 g.

Thurs, October 15th

Didn’t do any training today but I did some more, lighter work on the door, put in a little threshold at the top of the stairs and painted. I also put together the rest of my zombies in the evening with the exception of the final one, who will carry the mob totem, which looks like a wooden cross with someone’s hands tacked onto the horizontal spar.

The moss-covered rotten stump seemed a good focal point in The Circle. I periodically decorate the stump with things I find in my travels, such as some shells I found down on the beach in Santa Cruz, and a mysterious, little clay bowl I dug out of the ground in some random place in the forest. Sometimes I’ll stick feathers I find on my property from owls, Stellar’s Jays, doves, red-tailed hawks and the like.

Oddly, I’ll come back a week later and stuff will be moved around or missing. In this picture my clay bowl was turned over and the pinecones moved around. Fortunately whoever (my money is on rogue squirrels) is moving the stuff around isn’t messing with the 20 pound concrete frog so there’s that.

Calories: 1784, Protein: 87 g.

Fri, October 16th

  • Afternoon Workout
    • CoC Gripper (S): 3 sets x 7 reps; 1 set x 18 reps (right hand) and 11 reps (left hand)
      • In the FAQ on the Ironmind site, they suggest working with the next higher gripper once you can do 10 – 12 reps on the current one. On the last set I stopped only when I couldn’t close the gripper entirely. Based on this, I think I can move on more to the Trainer gripper.
    • Leg Complex: FOUR SETS { [Full Squats: 13 reps x sets #1-2 and 15 reps x sets #3-4] + [Side Kick Stretch (2-ct): 12 reps] + [Walking Lunges (2-ct): 6 reps] + [Romanian Dead Lift (2 lb. DB’s): 12 reps] }
    • Dead Bugs (2-ct): 23 reps
    • Stretched for about 10 minutes. I was able to achieve and hold the side lunge stretch with my right foot (in shoes) flat on the mat so that is a little step toward one of my current goals. I still have to work the stretch up on the ball of the left foot, however. After that I’ll work on the stretch with bare feet.

I’ve been using my spring bars for about a year now. My husband bought the larger one and I could bend it maybe about half way. That darned thing was (and is) no joke! So he bought one the smaller one, which is the one I’ve been training with. I had completely forgotten about the heavier one, which was languishing in the back of my closet until I stumbled upon it when I pawing through my Mountain of Unassembled Plastic.

I’m glad I found the old spring bar because the lighter one has become pretty easy. The heavy one is difficult, but I’ve started working it into my training. On Saturday I was able to fully bend it twice and then had to complete my set using the lighter bar. I think that is pretty good progress from not being able to bend the thing at all. This inspires me to set a goal for myself of being able to fully bend the heavy bar for a set of 8 repetitions. I’m going to put that as a new goal on my Goal Page.

Calories: 2020, Protein: 131 g.

Sat, October 17th

  • Morning Walk: 3.34 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout
    • Shoulder Complex: THREE SETS { [Twenty-One’s: 10 lb. DB’s for lateral, front raises, and rear delt rows] + [Arnold Presses: 20 lbs. x 10 reps, 25 lbs. x 10 reps for set #3] }
      • (Rested for 90 seconds between each set.)
    • Standing Push-ups using stairs: 4 sets x 10 reps
      • This was a bit harder than using the basement counter.
    • Bent Over DB Rows: 15 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 20 lbs. x 1 set x 12 reps
    • Standing Cable Flies: 12.5 lbs. x 12 reps (set #1), 12.5 lbs. x 6 reps + 10 lbs. x 6 reps (set #2), 10 lbs. x 12 reps (sets #3-4)
    • Spring Bar [alternated sets of hands supinated and pronated]: Light Bar: 2 sets x 8 reps, Heavy Bar 2 reps + Light Bar 6 reps (sets #3-4)
    • Super Set: Tricep Cable Pushdowns (tri bar): 35 lbs. x sets #1-3 x 12 reps, 40 lbs. x 9 reps + 35 lbs. x 3 reps (set #4) +
      • (Sets #1-2) Wood Chops: 15 lbs. x 12 reps (one side each set)
      • (Sets #3-4) Face Pulls: 10 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Super Set: Standing DB Curls: 15 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 20 lbs. x 1 set 12 reps +
      • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
      • (Set #2) Two-Handed American KB Swings: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
      • (Set #3) Calf Raises: 20 reps
      • (Set #4) Full Squats: 25 reps
    • Worked on the side-lunge stretch and did a little general stretching to end the workout.

Calories: 2024, Protein: 107 g. (I was flat on weight loss this week so my total remains 16.2 lbs. so far.)

Work Outs: Oct 4 – 10, 2020 (The Land of the Messed Up Trees and my friend the rock)

I had a good week of workouts. I’m hoping to add more pulling work soon, though my latissimus dorsi have been getting fairly sore doing the current workouts. (I suspect is it because I’m making a point of doing the incline push-ups through a full range of motion as well as emphasizing the eccentric portion of the movement.) Also, I am noticing less soreness from just doing the Romanian Dead Lifts as a range of motion exercise. I’ll probably slowly start adding some weight using dumbbells.

I mentioned the “Land of the Messed Up Trees” during last week’s workout post. I didn’t get a chance to take new pictures but I did happen upon some pictures I took a couple of weeks ago, which I forgot about.

The funny thing about these formations of many trunks is they are localized phenomenon in the park and I only see them in quantity in this one area, not too far from the Fence Made of Branches.

Sun, October 4th

Rest day. I worked on putting together a box of wraiths I’ve had sitting around for quite awhile now. Calories: 2178, Protein: 80 g.

Mon, October 5th

  • Morning Walk: 2.14 miles. My husband’s schedule continues to be tight so we’ll probably have to continue with the abbreviated walks and hikes for awhile longer yet.
  • Afternoon Training
    • Stationary Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Manual Program, ~ 70 rpm’s, Level 8
    • Superset: [CoC Gripper (S): 3 sets x 5 reps; (T): 1 set x 5 reps. I was very near to closing the Trainer grip with my right hand for the first couple of reps.] +
      • (Set 1) Full Squats: 21 reps
      • (Set 2) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 21 reps
      • (Set 3) Face Pulls: 10 lbs. x 15 reps (increase weight next time)
      • (Set 4) Twist Yo’ Wrist: 5 lbs. x (down and up twice; increase weight next time)
    • Stretched for 20 minutes following a video, “Stretching for the Splits (Taekwondo),” on the Global Martial Arts University Challenge.
  • Evening Model Assembly: Finished putting together the last of the mob of ten wraiths I started on Monday.

Calories: 1735, Protein: 82 g.

Tues, October 6th

Rest Day. Worked some on Frank’s Pig Demon. Concentrated mostly on the trident and tidying up the basecoat on its clothing. Calories: 2084, Protein: 114 g.

Wed, October 7th

  • Morning Walk: 2.02 miles.
  • Afternoon Training
    • Superset: 4 Sets [Standing Pushups using basement counter: 12 reps] + [Standing Cable Flies: 10 lbs. x 12 reps]
    • Superset: 3 Sets [Twenty-One’s: 10 lb. DB’s for lateral and front raises, 5 lbs. for rear delt rows] + [Arnold Presses: 20 lbs. x 10 reps]
      • Rested for 90 seconds between each set.
      • To perform Twenty-One’s, you perform a set of Lateral Raises, then Front Raises, then Rear Delt Rows with no rest between exercises, only between sets. You do 7 reps of each exercise, hence the name “Twenty-One’s.”
    • Super Set: 4 Sets [Tricep Cable Pushdowns (tri bar): 35 lbs. x 12 reps] + [Bend Spring Bar: 3 sets x 8 reps with lighter bar and 1 set x 5 reps with heavier bar.]
    • Super Set: [CoC Gripper (S): 2 sets x 5 reps; CoC Gripper (T) or Trainer: 2 sets x 5 reps] +
      • (Set 1) Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set 2) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps (had to grind out the last few)
      • (Set 3) Alternating One-Handed American Kettlebell Swing: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
      • (Set 4) Jumping Jacks (2-ct): 12 reps
    • Walked one loop of my driveway holding my workout rock over my head.
    • Stretched for about 12 minutes. While I was stretching I did a couple of sets of finger extensions with my 8 lb. bands in help balance out all of the hand flexion training I’ve been doing.

Calories: 1868, Protein: 115 g.

I love my workout rock. It is neither too light nor too heavy for what I want to do with it. I decided to weigh the rock after posting this and my husband asking about it and it is 36 pounds. It was originally part of a bunch of rocks piled up, with some bungled attempt at mortar work, forming the makeshift corner foundation of our house. A few years ago we jacked up the corner and put in a proper foundation.

Many of the rocks ended up forming the circle in an area I dedicated to our friend, The King of the Good People, and this rock ended up neglected out in back of my yard for a few years. (I’ll post a picture of the Circle next time.) After everything closed down but before my home gym, I started working out with this rock. The rock was my home gym and even now, despite having a bunch of equipment, I like to keep working the rock in because it feels like an old friend, who was there when I needed her.

Thurs, October 8th

Morning Walk: 3.36 miles. Calories: 2584, Protein: 152 g.

Fri, October 9th

  • Morning Walk: 3.31 miles.
    • Standing DB Bicep Curls: 15 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Superset: Four Sets [Wrist Rolling: 8 lbs., rolling up and down twice while standing on 16″ platform] + [Finger Extensions (band): 8 lbs. x 12 reps]
    • Leg Complex: Four Sets [Romanian Dead Lift (broom handle): 12 reps] + [Full Squats: 13 reps] + [Walking Lunges: 6 reps] + Side Kick Stretch: 12 reps] Rested 90 seconds between sets.
    • Face Pulls: 12.5 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • Stretched for about 15 minutes.

Calories: 2143, Protein: 115 g.

Sat, October 10th

Rest Day. Calories: 1980, Protein: 120 g. (Lost 1 pound this week for a total of 16.2 lbs. so far.)

Ann’s Work Out Goals

This is where I will maintain a list of current goals and update later on when I’ve achieved them and come up with new goals.

  • Goal Posted: October 17, 2020
    1. Fully bend heavy spring bar for a set of 8 repetitions using both supinated and pronated grips.
  • Goals Posted: October 4, 2020
    • Close my Captain of Crush “Trainer” gripper five times with each hand.
      • Close the (T) gripper to 16mm with my left hand for 4 sets of 5 reps (Posted: Oct 19, 20.)
    • Side-Lunge Stretch: Plant foot (in shoes) flat on floor while doing this stretch, rather than going up on the ball of plant foot.  I used to be able to do this a few years ago when I was taking Tae Kwon Do. After that I will work toward planting my bare foot, which is a bit more difficult.
    • Perform a set of 100 full squats without stopping and without being overly tired at the end. After that I will start doing pistol squats using a post as an assist.
    • Perform a set of 100 two-count Dead Bugs without being overly tired at the end.

Work Outs: Sep 27 – Oct 3, 2020 (The Fence Made of Branches)

Our basement home gym is taking shape. We found a slightly used double cable machine for a good price, which will add a lot to the types of exercises we can do.

Here is a picture of a fence made of dead branches along one of the trails in one of our favorite hiking areas. It varies from about four to over seven feet high. From what I understand people have been maintaining and working on it for quite a long time. I’m glad it didn’t burn in the recent fires!

Sun, September 27th

Rest day.

Mon, September 28th

Did a morning stretch that took about 30 minutes, following a video, “Beginner Flexibility Routine,” on the MadFit Youtube channel. It looks like we probably won’t get in as much walking this week as last because of my husband’s schedule.

Calories: 1916, Protein: 102 g.

Tues, September 29th

Early morning walk in the forest for 2.84 miles.

Afternoon: Dead Bugs (2-ct) x 20 reps | Did the “30 Min Full Body Stretch” video by Pamela Reif.

Calories: 1972, Protein: 87 g.

Wed, September 30th

  • Morning Walk: 2.02 miles.
  • Afternoon Training
    • Superset: [Standing Pushups using basement counter: 4 sets x 12 reps] + [Standing Cable Flies: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps]
    • Shoulder Complex with 5 lb. DB’s: Three Sets { [Side Laterals x 7 reps ] + [Front Raises x 7 reps] + [Rear Delt Rows x 7 reps] + [Arnold Presses x 10 reps] }
      • Set 1: Sitting on floor.
      • Set 2: Kneeling.
      • Set 3: Standing.
      • There is no rest between exercises or sets. This shoulder complex is from Jeff Cavaliere’s “Dumbbell Shoulder Workout” video.
    • Super Set: [Tricep Cable Pushdowns (tri bar): 30 lbs. x sets 1-2 x 12 reps; 35 lbs. x sets 3-4 x 12 reps] + [Bend Spring Bar: 2 sets with hands pronated and two supinated x 12 reps]
    • Super Set: [CoC Gripper (S): 3 sets x 5 reps; CoC Gripper (T) or Trainer: 1 set x 5 reps but not able to close it completely very well with either hand.] +
      • (Set 1) Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set 2) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
      • (Set 3) American Kettlebell Swing: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
      • (Set 4) Full Squats: 20 reps
    • Did “Introduction to Krav Maga – White Belt Class #1” video by Global Martial Arts University.
    • Stretched for about 10 minutes.

Calories: 1916, Protein: 121 g.

Thurs, October 1st

Rest Day. Did 20 minutes of stretching, lacrosse ball and foam roller restorative work.

The Fence Made of Branches is located in the small, faeriesque Land of the Messed up Trees. You’ll note the tree in the upper right of this picture. There are many of those trees in the area. Maybe next week, if we happen to hike again in that area I’ll take some pictures in the Land of the Messed Up Trees and post them with next week’s work out.

Calories: 1931, Protein: 117 g.

Fri, October 2nd

  • Afternoon Training
    • Standing DB Cable Rows: 40 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Superset: Four Sets { [Standing DB Bicep Curls: 10 lbs. x sets 1-2 x 12 reps; 15 lbs. x sets 3-4 x 12 reps] + [Wrist Rolling: 5 lbs., rolling up and down twice while standing on 16″ platform] }
    • Giant Set: [Face Pulls: 10 lbs. x 12 reps] + [Alternating one-handed American Kettlebell Swings (2-ct): 15 lbs. x 12 reps] + [Leg Raises x 12] + [DB Wrist Curls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps]
    • CoC(S) Gripper: 2 sets x 5 reps; CoC(T): 2 sets x 5 reps. Can’t quite close (T) grippers yet, which is 100 lbs. versus the 80 lb. “Sport” set, which I can close easily.
    • Stretched for about 20 minutes.

Calories: 1964, Protein: 113 g.

Sat, October 3rd

  • Afternoon Training
    • Stationary Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Manual Program, ~ 70 rpm’s, Level 6
    • Leg Complex: Four Sets { [Romanian Dead Lift (broom handle): 12 reps] + [Full Squats: 12 reps] + [Walking Lunges (2-ct): 6 reps] + Side Kick Stretch (2-ct): 12 reps] }
    • Stretched for 10 minutes.

Calories: 1995, Protein: 95 g. (Lost 2.6 lbs. this week for a total of 15.2 lbs.)

Captain of Crush Grippers

This post was originally on my now defunct workout blog. I decided to rework it a bit and present it here. I hope to get some painting done on Frank’s Pig Demon this weekend. My goal is to finish its trident and tidy up the base coat on the cloak and such.

I added a new Ironmind Captains of Crush gripper — the “Sport” or 80 lb. gripper to my little collection of hand and forearm strengthening devices. The series goes up to a magnificent 365 lbs., which I’ll most certainly never be able to close though my husband might someday.

I bought the Sport gripper because I wanted a warm-up gripper lighter than the “Trainer” gripper (100 lbs.), which is what I’m working on getting better at closing. I can close the Trainer maybe once or twice with my good hand and almost close it once with my left. I’m working toward being able to close the Trainer five times with either hand. Hopefully by the end of the year….

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Right now we have up to 237.5 lbs., which in Ironmind parlance is Level 2.5. I originally purchased the set as a Christmas present for my husband and we kept them on the coffee table. These days they live in the basement we are putting together as our home gym.

Work Outs: Sep 20 – 26, 2020

I used to keep track of my workouts, before I was online, in three-ring notebooks, most of which were lost in the mists of time, flooded basements, cross-country moves and the like, though I still do have one from my early-80’s Army days that makes for semi-entertaining reading. With the advent of the internet in my life during college I started putting them on 5.25″ (and later 3.5″) floppies. All of those records have been lost to the mists of time, hardware changes, crashes, upgrades, purposeful obsolescence and the like. Turns out digital media is far more ephemeral than my old notebooks but hey … in a hundred years who’s going to care?

About a year ago I decided to start another blog specifically to keep track of my workouts. I made a good start and after a couple of months realized that trying to have more than one blog at a time isn’t for me. I ended up duly neglecting the work out blog, though I was still doing the training.

So I thought, Why not just create a new section here and put up weekly posts of what you are doing? Why not indeed!

Sun, September 20th

We walked about 8 miles on the local hiking trails in the afternoon.

Mon, September 21st

Afternoon walk covering about 4 miles.

Tues, September 22nd

We did an early morning walk that was about 3.5 miles and then an afternoon walk that was about 4 miles for a daily total of 7.5 miles.

Wed, September 23rd

Morning walk for 2.5 miles and an afternoon walk of 4.5 miles for a total of 7 miles.

Thurs, September 24th

My husband spotted this little beastie scuttling at high speed along the inside of the railroad rail during our afternoon walk today. Fortunately for me it froze for a moment and I was able to grab a picture before our friend continued on its way.

  • Morning Walk: 3.3 miles.
  • Afternoon Training
    • DB Bench Press: 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Arnold Press: 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Flies: 5 lbs. x 12 reps | 6 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Lateral Raises: 6 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Superset: [DB Skull Crushers: 6 lbs. x sets 1-2 x 12 reps | 10 lbs. x sets 3-4 x 12 reps] + [Bend Spring Bar: two sets with hands pronated and two supinated x 8 reps]
    • Tri-Set: [Dead Bugs (2-ct): 4 sets x 12 reps] + [CoC Gripper (S) x 4 sets x 5 reps]
      • (Set 1) Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set 2-3) Side Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set 4) Full Squats: 20 reps
  • Evening Walk: 4.5 miles

Fri, September 25th

  • Morning Training
    • Leg Complex: [Romanian Dead Lift (broom handle): 4 sets x 12 reps] + [Full Squats: 4 sets x 12 reps] + [Walking Lunges (2-ct): Sets 1-2 x 6 reps | Side Kick Stretch (2-ct): Sets 3-4 x 12 reps]
    • Standing DB Back Rows: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Superset: [Standing DB Bicep Curls: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps] +
      • (Sets 1-2): Wrist Rolling: 5 lbs., rolling up and down twice while standing on 16″ platform
      • (Sets 3-4) Standing DB Hammer Curls: 10 lbs. x 12 reps]
    • Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • Standing DB Back Fly: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Finished off the workout by walking the loop of my driveway holding a moderately-large stone over my head.

Sat, September 26th

Rest day. Turns out I need it!

I’ll sign off with a picture of some small, coastal redwoods along one of usual haunts at Henry Cowell State Park, Felton, California. I wonder how long ago that one tree in the foreground splintered and fell?